UGANDA: Police whip and harass LGBTI people, halting Uganda’s Gay Pride pageant and march

Participants hold rainbow flags during the Gay Pride parade in Entebbe, Uganda, in August last year. (Isaac Kasamani, AFP)
Participants hold rainbow flags during the Gay Pride parade in Entebbe, Uganda, in August last year. (Isaac Kasamani, AFP)

A rainbow-coloured flag fluttered in the background. The hall, beautifully decorated and contestants for the Mr/Ms/Mx Pride Uganda beauty pageant were getting ready backstage.

Then police stormed the venue heading to the dressing rooms where some were seen forcefully leading contestants away.

Just 48 hours later, organisers of Uganda’s fifth annual gay pride march gathered at a secret location to discuss what had transpired.

The pageant had been spoilt, and now the march, scheduled for last Saturday. It was to have proceeded through the capital city, Kampala. Instead it was called off because of the police’s heavy-handed raid and safety concerns for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) participants.

The Ugandan minister of ethics and integrity, Simon Lokodo, had warned that if the march were to continue, it would incite mob violence against participants.

Matt Beard, executive director of All Out Action Fund, said: “The feeling on the ground right now is that people are scared and extremely disappointed.” READ MORE OF THIS STORY

SOURCES: Mail & Guardian

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About Cholo Brooks 14331 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.